Two Birds. Stones. You get the idea.
So back in November I called up my friend Barbara from Divine Tampa, a very cool mom events group in, you guessed it, Tampa, and asked what she thought might work.
She suggested doing something with Neiman Marcus, who often did fun evening mom-friendly parties, some of which her group had participated in, and with their Spring Fling coming up in March, maybe this was something cool.
So she reached out, sent her PR contact there my links, book, and all my info (read: I'm a mom who writes about SEX) and we waited.
December, January, and oh, February rolls around and no word.
We both kindly nudge the PR person, asking only to be told "yes" or "no" in a timely manner so we can make our plans accordingly.
And so, with great enthusiasm, she finally called me back to discuss the event, which had shaped up into something very cool - Ben from Project Runway, a live band, and booze - what else could you ask for?
She asked me to tell her what my book was about (oy) and what I thought I'd do. I suppose I should have known that she apparently hadn't looked at my book or my sites when she asked if I should be in the kid's section of the store.
I suggested we do sexy mom makeovers in lingerie, keeping it tame and family friendly. They'd give away my book with a purchase, Divine Tampa would spread the word to their group, and all would be well.
But then the lovely and quite frankly awesome piece about the Mominatrix Book came out in the St. Petersburg Times, which did not necessarily cover the event (though it did mention I was appearing) but discussed post partum sex, the book itself, and some sexy tips from me.
The PR person emails me "please call me" on the Monday before the event, which is hilarious since neither I or Barbara couldn't get her to email or call me back for FOUR FREAKING MONTHS.
And so I do and she says "So.... bloggers."
"I'm sorry, what?" I said.
And thus came this long complaint about "bloggers" and how they "twist words" around and how "this is not the direction that we want to go with this event."
I asked here "What bloggers?" and she said she didn't know but was waiting for "the reports."
Meanwhile, the only blog post that showed up with Google was mine though I later discovered a fun blog post from the above mentioned article's author which was, again, promoting my appearance. And I didn't see exactly how she or I twisted words or made it seem like I was going to be waving sex toys around Neiman Marcus.
And really, what PR person gets upset about really great press for an author coming to their store? But, she gave out the wrong RSVP email address for the event (that got published in the newspaper) so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
Needless to say, I offered her the chance to cancel, but said I needed to know as soon as possible so I could make other plans. I didn't hear from her, and went about my business, though packed books in my suitcase just in case because I had a sinking feeling something was going to go wrong, arriving in Tampa on Thursday and getting a mall makeover (nails and hair) before my event.
And that's when it all sort of fell apart.
I was moved to make-up to discuss my 5-minute face, and as I was reminded three or so times, I would not be talking about sex or my book. At all.
At an event to promote my book.
"Do not discuss lube, or sex pillows, or anything like that."
(Those were answers I gave to the reporter asking me questions; those had nothing to do with what I was going to be discussing at the event - all of which was clearly marked in the article).
They did not order my books. They did not have any signage to promote me.
I was basically there to sell their make-up.
The thought of leaving crossed my mind, and quite frankly, I would have left and headed straight to the Cheesecake Factory if it hadn't been that Barbara had helped organize this, and I didn't want it to reflect badly on her.
So, I wandered around the store in my very short sexy dress and no underwear, hoping to find people that I knew had taken the time to come out and see me. Unfortunately, there would have been no way for anyone who didn't know me but had come.
I did get to enjoy the company of my cousin (who I hadn't seen in 14 years), as well as Maria - Mommy Melee, Beth - Adjunct Mom, and Janet - The Caffienatrix - all of whom were super nice to come out and chill. I also got to enjoy the hospitality of the lovely Cecilia from Itty Bitty Lady Bug.
My apologies to others of you that might have been there and couldn't find me.
The weekend was not a complete bust, thanks to my whirlwind weekend tour of Disney World with my family (sans Margot, who got some quality time with my mom) and the race on Sunday.
It was amazing to connect with bloggers I read and admire, both at the event in Tampa as well as in Orlando.
And it was great to finally meet Bill from Daddy is Tired, who has been pushing me along in my weight loss journey since he started writing the Shredheads with me a year ago.
And as for Neiman Marcus - no hard feelings. I realize that the Mominatrix and her content isn't always for everyone.
But I did learn a very good lesson. Apparently the same rules for PR professionals doing online outreach apply to ones who are working in the corporate setting.
Do your research. And don't be an idiot.